AIM: To evaluate the clinical parameters and identify a better method of predicting pathological complete response (pCR).
METHODS: We enrolled 249 patients from a database of 544 consecutive rectal cancer patients who underwent surgical resection after preoperative chemoradiation therapy (PCRT). A retrospective review of morphological characteristics was then performed to collect data regarding rectal examination findings. A scoring model to predict pCR was then created. To validate the ability of the scoring model to predict complete regression.
RESULTS: Seventy patients (12.9%) achieved a pCR. A multivariate analysis found that pre-CRT movability (P = 0.024), post-CRT size (P = 0.018), post-CRT morphology (P = 0.023), and gross change (P = 0.009) were independent predictors of pCR. The accuracy of the scoring model was 76.8% for predicting pCR with the threshold set at 4.5. In the validation set, the accuracy was 86.7%.
CONCLUSION: Gross changes and morphological findings are important predictors of pathological response. Accordingly, PCRT response is best predicted by a combination of clinical, laboratory and metabolic information.
Rectal cancer; Preoperative chemoradiotherapy; Downstaging; Tumor regression; Validation
An anorectal melanoma (AM) is a very rare tumor. However, sufficient data supporting effective surgical options for the disease do not exist. This retrospective review aimed to analyze treatment outcomes for an AM.
From June 1999 to December 2008, we retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected consecutive series of 19 patients who had undergone a surgical resection for an AM at a single institute. Surgical method and clinicopathological factors were analyzed.
The median age was 61.4 years (range, 46 to79 years). Main symptoms were an anal mass, hematochezia, perianal pain, tenesmus, fecal incontinence, and bowel habit change. The average duration of symptoms before diagnosis was 7.8 months (range, 1 to 36 months). S-100 and HMB-45 were positive in all patients, even in non-melanin pigmentation. There were 12 abdominoperineal resections (APRs) and 7 wide local excisions (WEs). The APR showed longer overall survival when compared with the WE (64.1 months vs. 10.9 months, P < 0.001). No patients who underwent a WE survived more than 13 months.
A high index of suspicion is necessary to establish the diagnosis for an AM in patients with anal symptoms, and S-100 and HMB-45 can be useful markers for an AM. Even with the small number of cases and the short follow-up, our data suggest that an APR for an AM may provide longer survival than a WE.
Anorectal melanoma; Wide excision; Abdominoperineal resection; Immunohistochemical markers
The expression of p53 in patients with rectal cancer who underwent preoperative chemoradiationand and its potential prognostic significance were evaluated.
Materials and Methods
p53 expression was examined using immunohistochemistry in pathologic specimens from 210 rectal cancer patients with preoperative chemoradiotherapy and radical surgery. All patients were classified into two groups according to the p53 expression: low p53 (<50% nuclear staining) and high p53 (≥50%) groups.
p53 expression was significantly associated with tumor location from the anal verge (p=0.036). In univariate analysis, p53 expression was not associated with disease-free survival (p=0.118) or local recurrence-free survival (p=0.089). Multivariate analysis showed that tumor distance from the anal verge (p=0.006), ypN category (p=0.011), and perineural invasion (p=0.048) were independent predictors of disease-free survival; tumor distance from the anal verge was the only independent predictor of local recurrence-free survival. When the p53 groups were subdivided according to ypTNM category, disease-free survival differed significantly in patients with ypN+ disease (p=0.027) only.
Expression of p53 in pathologic specimens as measured by immunohistochemical methods may have a significant prognostic impact on survival in patients with ypN+ rectal cancer with preoperative chemoradiotherapy. However, it was not an independent predictor of recurrence or survival.
p53; rectal cancer; immunohistochemistry
Sporadic colorectal cancers with high-frequency microsatellite instability (MSI-H) are related to hypermethylation of mismatch repair (MMR) genes and a higher frequency of BRAF mutations than Lynch syndrome. We estimated the feasibility of hereditary colorectal cancer based on hMLH1 methylation and BRAF mutations.
Between May 2005 and June 2011, we enrolled all 33 analyzed patients with MSI-H cancer (male:female, 23:10; mean age, 65.5 ± 9.4 years) from a prospectively maintained database that didn't match Bethesda guidelines and who had results of hMLH1 methylation and BRAF mutations.
Among the 33 patients, hMLH1 promoter methylation was observed in 36.4% (n = 12), and was not significantly related with clinicopathologic variables, including MLH1 expression. BRAF mutations were observed in 33.3% of the patients (n = 11). Four of 11 and five of 22 patients with MSI-H colon cancers were BRAF mutation (+)/hMLH1 promoter methylation (-) or BRAF mutation (-)/hMLH1 promoter methylation (+). Of the 33 patients, 21.2% were BRAF mutation (+)/hMLH1 promoter methylation (+), indicating sporadic cancers. Seventeen patients (51.5%) were BRAF mutation (-)/hMLH1 promoter methylation (-), and suggested Lynch syndrome.
Patients with MSI-H colorectal cancers not fulfilling the Bethesda guidelines possibly have hereditary colorectal cancers. Adding tests of hMLH1 promoter methylation and BRAF mutations can be useful to distinguish them from sporadic colorectal cancers.
Colorectal neoplasms; hMLH1; BRAF; Hereditary colorectal cancer
The drug utilization review (DUR) system, which checks any conflict event of medications, contributes to improve patient safety. One of the important barriers in its adoption is doctors' resistance. This study aimed to analyze the impacts of doctors' resistance on the success of the DUR system.
This study adopted an augmented the DeLone and McLean Information System (D&M IS) Success Model (2003), which used doctors' resistance as a socio-technological measure. This study framework is the same as that of the D&M IS Success Model in that it is based on qualities, such as system, information, and services. The major difference is that this study excluded the variable 'use' because it was not statistically significant for mandatory systems. A survey of doctors who used computers to enter prescriptions was conducted at a Korean tertiary hospital in February 2012.
This study is very meaningful in that it is the first study to explore the success factors of the DUR system associated with doctors' resistance. Doctors' resistance to the DUR system was not statistically associated with user usefulness, whereas it affected user satisfaction.
The results indicate that doctors still complain of discomfort in using the DUR system in the outpatient clinical setting, even though they admit that it contributes to patient safety. To mitigate doctors' resistance and raise user satisfaction, more opinions from doctors regarding the DUR system have to be considered and have to be reflected in the system.
Drug Utilization Review; Information System; Medicare Assignment
Adjuvant chemotherapy is currently recommended for Stage IIIA colon cancers. This study aimed to elucidate the oncologic outcomes of Stage IIIA colon cancer according to the chemotherapeutic regimen based on a retrospective review.
From 1995 to 2008, Stage IIIA colon cancer patients were identified from a prospectively maintained database at a single institution. Exclusion criteria were as follows: rectal cancer, another malignancy other than colon cancer, no adjuvant chemotherapy and unknown chemotherapeutic regimen. One hundred thirty-one patients were enrolled in the study, and the clinicopathologic and the oncologic characteristics were analyzed. The number of males was 72, and the number of females was 59; the mean age was 59.5 years (range, 25 to 76 years), and the median follow-up period was 33 months (range, 2 to 127 months).
Of the 131 patients, fluorouracil/leucovorin (FL)/capecitabine chemotherapy was performed in 109 patients, and FOLFOX chemotherapy was performed in 22 patients. When the patients who received FL/capecitabine chemotherapy and the patients who received FOLFOX chemotherapy were compared, there was no significant difference in the clinicopathologic factors between the two groups. The 5-year overall survival and the 5-year disease-free survival were 97.2% and 94.5% in the FL/capecitabine patient group and 95.5% and 90.9% in the FOLFOX patient group, respectively, and no statistically significant differences were noted between the two groups.
Stage IIIA colon cancer showed good oncologic outcomes, and the chemotherapeutic regimen did not seem to affect the oncologic outcome.
Stage IIIA; Colon neoplasm; Chemotherapeutic agent; Prognosis
We evaluated the risk factors for late complications and functional outcome after total proctocolectomy (TPC) with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) for ulcerative colitis (UC).
Pre- and postoperative clinical status and follow-up data were obtained for 55 patients who underwent TPC with IPAA between 1999 and 2010. The median follow-up duration was 4.17 years. Late complications were defined as those that appeared at least one month after surgery. For a functional assessment, telephone interviews were conducted using the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Twenty-eight patients completed the interview.
Late complications were found in 20 cases (36.3%), comprising pouchitis (n = 8), bowel obstruction (n = 5), ileitis (n = 3), pouch associated fistula (n = 2), and intra-abdominal infection (n = 2). The preoperative serum albumin level for patients with late complications was lower than for patients without (2.4 ± 0.5 vs. 2.9 ± 0.7, P = 0.04). Functional outcomes were not significantly associated with clinical characteristics, follow-up duration, operation indication, or late complications.
This study demonstrated that a low preoperative albumin level could be a risk factor for late complications of TPC with IPAA. Preoperative nutritional support, especially albumin, could reduce late complications. Functional outcomes are not related to late complications.
Ulcerative colitis; Proctocolectomy; Complications
Although anemia is considered to be a contributor to intra-tumoral hypoxia and tumor resistance to ionizing radiation in cancer patients, the impact of pretreatment anemia on local control after neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy (NACRT) and surgery for rectal cancer remains unclear.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed the records of 247 patients with locally advanced rectal cancer who were treated with NACRT followed by curative-intent surgery.
The patients with anemia before NACRT (36.0%, 89/247) achieved less pathologic complete response (pCR) than those without anemia (p = 0.012). The patients with pretreatment anemia had worse 3-year local control than those without pretreatment anemia (86.0% vs. 95.7%, p = 0.005). Multivariate analysis showed that pretreatment anemia (p = 0.035), pathologic tumor and nodal stage (p = 0.020 and 0.032, respectively) were independently significant factors for local control.
Pretreatment anemia had negative impacts on pCR and local control among patients who underwent NACRT and surgery for rectal cancer. Strategies maintaining hemoglobin level within normal range could potentially be used to improve local control in rectal cancer patients.
Anemia; Rectal cancer; Neoadjuvant therapy; Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
Recently, an increase in well-differentiated rectal neuroendocrine tumors (WRNETs) has been noted. We aimed to evaluate transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) for the treatment of WRNETs.
Between December 1995 and August 2009, 109 patients with WRNETs underwent TEM. TEM was performed for patients with tumors sizes of up to 20 mm and without a lymphadenopathy. These patients had been referred from other clinics after having been diagnosed with WRNETs by using a colonoscopic biopsy; they had undergone a failed endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) or endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and exhibited an involved resection margin and remaining tumor after ESD or EMR, regardless of the distance from the anal verge. This study included 38 patients that had more than three years of follow-up.
The mean age of the patients was 51.3 ± 11.9 years, the mean tumor size was 8.0 ± 3.9 mm, and no morbidity occurred. Thirty-five patients were asymptomatic. TEM was performed after a colonoscopic resection in 13 cases because of a positive resection margin, a residual tumor or a non-lifting lesion. Complete resections were performed in 37 patients; one patient with a positive margin was considered surgically complete. In one patient, liver metastasis and a recurrent mesorectal node occurred after five and 10 years, respectively.
TEM might provide an accessible and effective treatment either as an initial or as an adjunct after a colonoscopic resection for a WRNET.
Well-differentiated rectal neuroendocrine tumors; Transanal endoscopic microsurgery; Colonoscopic resection; Treatment
Tubular colonic duplication presenting in adults is rare and difficult to diagnose preoperatively. Only a few cases have been reported in the literature. We report a case of a 29-year-old lady presenting with a long history of chronic constipation, abdominal mass and repeated episodes of abdominal pain. The abdominal-pelvic computed tomography scan showed segmental bowel wall thickening thought to be small bowel, and dilatation with stasis of intraluminal content. The provisional diagnosis was small bowel duplication. She was scheduled for single port laparoscopic resection. However, a T-shaped tubular colonic duplication at sigmoid colon was found intraoperatively. Resection of the large T-shaped tubular colonic duplication containing multiple impacted large fecaloma and primary anastomosis was performed. There was no perioperative complication. We report, herein, the case of a T-shaped tubular colonic duplication at sigmoid colon in an adult who was successfully treated through mini-laparotomy assisted by single port laparoscopic surgery.
Colonic duplication; Congenital abnormalities; Adult; Laparoscopy
Serous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are almost always benign lesions. However, there are some case reports of malignant serous neoplasms of the pancreas. It is very difficult to distinguish malignant and benign tumors. Indeed, only clinicopathologic findings of locoregional invasion and metastasis represent a malignancy. We report a serous cystadenocarcinoma of the pancreas that was initially considered to be colon cancer. Post-operatively, the tumor was confirmed to be a malignant serous cystic tumor of the pancreas. One year later, the patient remains disease-free.
Pancreas; Cystadenocarcinoma; Colon; Spleen
To evaluate the palliative role of radiotherapy (RT) and define the effectiveness of chemotherapy combined with palliative RT (CCRT) in patients with a symptomatic pelvic mass of metastatic colorectal cancer.
From August 1995 to December 2007, 80 patients with a symptomatic pelvic mass of metastatic colorectal cancer were treated with palliative RT at Samsung Medical Center. Initial presenting symptoms were pain (68 cases), bleeding (18 cases), and obstruction (nine cases). The pelvic mass originated from rectal cancer in 58 patients (73%) and from colon cancer in 22 patients (27%). Initially 72 patients (90%) were treated with surgery, including 64 complete local excisions; 77% in colon cancer and 81% in rectal cancer. The total RT dose ranged 8-60 Gy (median: 36 Gy) with 1.8-8 Gy per fraction. When the α/β for the tumor was assumed to be 10 Gy for the biologically equivalent dose (BED), the median RT dose was 46.8 Gy10 (14.4-78). Twenty one patients (26%) were treated with CCRT. Symptom palliation was assessed one month after the completion of RT.
Symptom palliation was achieved in 80% of the cases. During the median follow-up period of five months (1-44 months), 45% of the cases experienced reappearance of symptoms; the median symptom control duration was five months. Median survival after RT was six months. On univariate analysis, the only significant prognostic factor for symptom control duration was BED ≥40 Gy10 (p < 0.05), and CCRT was a marginally significant factor (p = 0.0644). On multivariate analysis, BED and CCRT were significant prognostic factors for symptom control duration (p < 0.05).
RT was an effective palliation method in patients with a symptomatic pelvic mass of metastatic colorectal cancer. For improvement of symptom control rate and duration, a BED ≥ 40 Gy10 is recommended when possible. Considering the low morbidity and improved symptom palliation, CCRT might be considered in patients with good performance status.
metastatic colorectal cancer; pelvic recurrence; palliative radiation therapy; concurrent chemoradiotherapy
The aim of this study was to assess the role of pre-operative chest computed tomography (CT) compared with abdominopelvic CT (AP-CT) and chest radiography (CXR) for detecting pulmonary metastasis in patients with primary colorectal cancer (CRC).
We retrospectively analyzed the data of 619 patients with primary CRC who simultaneously received a preoperative chest CT (chest CT group), AP-CT with hilar extension, and CXR (CXR group).
In the chest CT group, there were 297 (48.0%) normal, 198 (32%) benign, 96 (15.5%) indeterminate, 26 (4.2%) metastasis, and two lung cancers. Eighteen patients (2.9%) in the CXR group who had no pulmonary metastasis were diagnosed with pulmonary metastasis on a chest CT. The sensitivity and accuracy were 83.9% and 99.0% in the chest CT group, respectively, and 29.0% and 91.5% in the CXR group, respectively (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0003).
Chest CT appears to improve the accuracy of pre-operative staging in patients with CRC and is useful for the early detection of pulmonary metastasis as a baseline study for abnormal lung nodules.
Colorectal neoplasm; Metastases; Computed tomography; Chest X-ray
Oxaliplatin-induced chronic peripheral neurotoxicity (OXCPN) manifests as a loss of sensation and dysesthesia in the distal extremities, which may impair daily activities and increase in incidence with the amount of oxaliplatin delivered. The variation in the reported incidence and severity of OXCPN may be a consequence of differences in the baseline characteristics of patients.
Materials and Methods
This was a prospective study (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00977717) in which OXCPN was recorded for all consecutive colon cancer patients treated at Samsung Medical Center (Seoul, Korea) with oxaliplatin-based combination chemotherapy. The primary endpoint was the incidence of severe OXCPN (grade 2 lasting for >7 days, or grade 3). The association of severe OXCPN and pretreatment parameters was evaluated using a multivariate regression model.
Between Jan 2008 and Feb 2010, 100 patients treated with adjuvant folinic acid/fluorouracil plus oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) and 266 patients treated with capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) or FOLFOX for advanced disease were registered into our study. The median cumulative dose of oxaliplatin was 796 mg/m2 (range, 85 to 1,583 mg/m2). Severe OXCPN was observed in 126 (34%) patients. Overall, 43 patients discontinued chemotherapy due to toxicity: 23 without severe OXCPN and 20 with severe OXCPN. In univariate analysis, severe OXCPN was frequently observed in patients with age ≥55 years (p<0.01), stage II or III (p<0.01), adjuvant setting (p=0.01), FOLFOX (p<0.01), performance status of 0 (p=0.02), and those with no prior chemotherapy (p<0.01). In a multivariate regression model, the number of chemotherapy cycles and the cumulative oxaliplatin dose were not associated with the development of severe OXCPN.
We failed to find a significant association between patient characteristics at baseline and the development of severe OXCPN after oxaliplatin-based combination chemotherapy. Pharmacogenomic profiling using genome-wide association study in these patients is underway.
Colorectal neoplasms; Oxaliplatin; Neurotoxicity
Oral capecitabine has been used as adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer patients since the 1990s. Patient-initiated cessation or reduced use of capecitabine occurs widely for various reasons, yet the consequences of these actions are unclear. The present study sought to clarify treatment outcomes in such patients.
The study included 173 patients who had been diagnosed with stage II or III colon cancer according to the pathologic report after radical surgery at Samsung Medical Center from May 2005 to June 2007 and who had received capecitabine as adjuvant therapy. The patients were divided into groups according to whether the dose was reduced (I, dose maintenance; II, dose reduction) or stopped (A, cycle completion; B, cycle cessation). Recurrence and disease-free survival rates between the two groups each were analyzed.
Of the 173 patients, 128 (74.6%) experienced complications, most frequently hand-foot syndrome (n = 114). Reduction (n = 35) or cessation (n = 18) of medication was most commonly due to complications. Concerning reduced dosage, both groups displayed no statistically significant differences in recurrence rate and 3-year disease-free survival rate. Concerning discontinued medication use, the cycle completion group showed an improved recurrence rate (P = 0.048) and 3-year disease-free survival rate (P = 0.028).
The results demonstrate that maintaining compliance with capecitabine as an adjuvant treatment for colon cancer to preventing complications positively affects patient prognosis.
Colon cancer; Capecitabine; Dose; Cycle; Disease-free survival
Physicians and oncology nurses must continue to update their knowledge on treatment and treatment-related side effects, while searching for effective methods to prevent or manage side effects. The objective of our study was to describe the incidence and response to treatment of the hand-foot syndrome (HFS) and the compliance with treatment of patients with stage IIB, IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC colon cancer that were treated with capecitabine alone as adjuvant therapy.
Materials and Methods
Between September 2005 and September 2006, 84 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in this retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
The treatment compliance rate was 90.5% (76 out of the 84 patients). The HFS developed in 65 patients (77.4%). Thirty-three patients (50.7%) had grade 1 HFS, 22 patients (33.8%) had grade 2 HFS and 10 patients (15.5%) had grade 3 HFS, as their most severe episode. For Grade 1 patients, the dose was maintained, and skin barrier cream and moist exposed burn ointment (MEBO) were applied. For Grade 2 patients, either the dose was maintained or 25% of the dose was reduced; MEBO and supportive care were provided. For Grade 3 patients, one cycle of chemotherapy was interrupted followed by dose adjustment; MEBO and supportive care were provided.
HFS is manageable if both patients and oncology care teams are educated about HFS associated with capecitabine. The HFS is treated by patient education, preventive management, ointment application, conservative management, dose reduction, and interruption of chemotherapy administration.
Colon neoplasm; capecitabine; compliance; side effects; hand erythema; foot erythema
The lengths of the surgical rectum and peritoneal reflection were important factors in treatment modality of rectal tumor. To evaluate the surgical length of rectum, we measured the length of the peritoneal reflections, sacral promontory and termination of the taenia coli from the anal verge by rigid sigmoidoscope in 23 male and 23 females during operation. The mean lengths of the sacral promontory were 16.5± 2.2 cm and 16.1±2.2 cm in the males and females, respectively. As for the peritoneal reflection, the results were anterior (8.8±2.2 cm, 8.1±1.7 cm), lateral (10.8±2.7 cm, 11.4±1.9 cm) and posterior (13.8±2.5 cm, 14.0±1.9 cm), respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between male and female. And only height had a correlation with the length of sacral promontory both in male and female (p=0.015 and p=0.018, respectively). For all the estimated lengths, the length of the sacral promontory had a correlation with the lengths of the anterior (p<0.001 and p=0.001) and posterior (p<0.001 and p<0.001) peritoneal reflections in males and females, respectively. We suggest that the intra-operative lengths of the rectum and peritoneal reflection will be useful information for treatment modality of rectal tumor clinically in Korean.
Rectum; Sacral Promontory; Peritoneal Reflection
The clinical features, treatment modality approaches in clinical practice, and prognostic factors for anal canal carcinoma patients were retrospectively analyzed.
Materials and Methods
Between October 1994 and December 2005, 50 patients with anal canal cancer were treated at Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
After a median follow up of 37.8 months (range, 6.6 - 136.1 months), the 5-year and 10-year survival rates for the 38 patients with early and locally advanced squamous and cloacogenic carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma and cloacogenic carcinoma) were 74.8% and 66.5%, respectively. The 5-year survival and disease-free survival rates (DFS) of the 31 patients who received chemoradiation therapy (CRT) were 83.6% and 74.3%, respectively. The overall and DFS could not be determined for the adenocarcinoma group due to the small number of cases (n = 8). Univariate analysis showed that tumor size (p = 0.04) and inguinal node status (p = 0.04) significantly influenced patient survival in patients with squamous cell and cloacogenic carcinomas. Furthermore, univariate analysis also showed that, inguinal node status influenced patient survival in the adenocarcinoma group. Multivariate analysis showed that inguinal node metastasis is a single independent prognostic variable for survival (p = 0.04) in patients with squamous cell and cloacogenic carcinomas.
Combined CRT has been adopted as standard treatment with outcomes that are comparable to those reported in randomized clinical trials. Due to the rarity and complexity of anal canal carcinoma, interdepartmental cooperation is required for disease treatment. Thus, proper treatment of patients should incorporate a team-approach and should be available to as many patients as possible.
Anal canal cancer; neoplasm; chemotherapy; radiotherapy